Chinese companies to undertake US$9.5bn railway construction project in Mali

Railway laying
Laying of a railway line

The government of Mali has entered a US$11bn-worth contract with Chinese companies to help in boosting Mali’s economy and service delivery to its citizens. The signing, which was apprehended in Tianjin, China during the World economy forum, will see the country upgrade the already existing railway linking Mali to Senegal.

The railway construction project, which begins in a year’s time, will be undertaken by two Chinese civil engineering companies namely China Railway Engineering Corporation and China Railway Construction Corporation. The two companies now have one year to submit detailed proposals to see Chinese banks fund the projects in the involved countries.

In details, the railway project will involve the upgrading of the existing 1230km meter-gauge line from Dakar – the capital of Senegal – to Bamako in Mali, a project estimated to cost US$1.5bn.  This railway construction will be rehabilitated by the china Railway construction corporation.

Meanwhile, the China Railway Engineering Corporation will be working on building the entire new standard gauge line linking Bamako to the port of Conakry which is in Guinea to Mali a route length of approximately 920km to cost US$8bn in this case.

The improved transport in Mali will attract investors to explore resources such as iron ore, bauxite and uranium that are bulkier and more costly to transport than gold.

The non-binding MoU with the Chinese administration came along with some demands from the Mali’s government stating that the Chinese government should be willing to assist them in curbing the deadly Ebola virus which has claimed nearly 4,000 people and sidetracked regional trade, though the virus has not significantly affected this industry yet.

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